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Loire Valley, Nevers – Briare

Cycling through the heart of France

Nevers
Paris, Charles de Gaulle

  • Start
  • Finish

Briare
Paris, Charles de Gaulle

The Loire Valley between the cities of Nevers and Briare in the heart of France is a very well suited region for a relaxing bike and barge holiday. Following the flow of the Loire River you gently ride through the green countryside with charming little villages and old castles and palaces. The rich landscape boasts many fruitful vineyards. Especially well known are the Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé wines. Both wines are reckoned to be among the most prestigious in the world. You will also see impressive examples of canal building engineering along the Canal lateral du Loire.
The old city of Nevers with its winding streets, castle and churches is our starting point. On the way to the wine city of Sancerre you will visit the Château of Apremont, dating back to the 12th century and lavishly surrounded by gardens as well as the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire with a 16th century stone bridge and Notre Dame cathedral. Wine-tasting in the region of Sancerrre and the Pouilly Fumé wines can not be missed. In between you will ride to St. Brisson Forest and through seemingly endless vineyards. Through a beautiful region of lakes and past more castles you will cycle along the Loire and visit Chatillon-sur-Loire with its impressive locks. The small city of Briare with its picturesque locks and aqueduct is the final destination of this week. On the last day you will visit Rogy-les-Sept-Écluses via the Pont Chevron castle.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8
  • Distance 40
  • Ride along the Loire River
  • Villages and castles in the heart of France
  • Famous Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé vineyards
  • Beautiful Sancerre
  • Nevers

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Nevers

15KM
Saturday: Nevers

Arrival and welcome at the barge on the mooring place. Tryout bike ride in the surrounding countryside.
After diner there will be an evening walk through the old town of Nevers. The city is famous for its ceramics and it is also one of the major pilgrimage centres of France because the city has kept the body of Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879). The Old Town, with its narrow winding streets, is full of many buildings and palaces dating from the 17th century.

Day 2

Sunday: Nevers – Gimouille

25KM
Sunday: Nevers – Gimouille

We start this week in the heart of France with a short ride to the sleepy village of Gimouille on the Canal lateral du Loire. But first you can take some time to visit the town of Nevers where there are many sites to see including the winding streets filled with houses dating back from the 14th to 17th century. The origins of Nevers date back to Roman times. Nevers is since the 5th century the seat of the bishop and has among others a castle and a few interesting churches.

Day 3

Monday: Gimouille – Cours-les-Barres

40KM
Monday: Gimouille – Cours-les-Barres

First thing you will do today is pay a visit to the aqueduct over the Allier River. With its two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high this is a must do! With some luck and good planning you might see the Claire de Lune pass through here, high above the river. Later this morning you will end up in the small town of Apremont, where you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th-century castle and surrounding fabulous gardens. Riding north from Apremont you pass wooded areas with nice villages, castles and country estates.

Day 4

Tuesday: Cours-les-Barres – Sancerre

45KM
Tuesday: Cours-les-Barres – Sancerre

Right after breakfast you will hop on your bikes and begin this days cycling tour through the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the center, there is a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue towards the final destination of today, the wine town of Sancerre. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, there will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the ship.

Day 5

Wednesday: Sancerre – Belleville-sur-Loire

50KM
Wednesday: Sancerre  – Belleville-sur-Loire

Sancerre wines, and especially the white wines, are famous all over the world. The first mentioning of winegrowing in this region dates back to the 6th century. Until the 19th century the region mostly grew Pinot grapes, but after a disease that devastated the grapes Sauvignon is now mostly grown. And with success! The ride today takes you on a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards and through the surrounding villages to the charming village of Belleville-sur-Loire.

Day 6

Thursday: Belleville-sur-Loire – Briare

45KM
Thursday: Belleville-sur-Loire – Briare

Todays bike ride to Briare leads you through typical French countryside with rolling hills, country estates and small villages. On the way you will pass the historical locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire and ride on to St. Brisson, where you will see the impressive medieval castle. We end the day with a
visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. We spend the last two nights moored in the typical French small-town of Briare.

Day 7

Friday: Briare – Rogy-les-sept-Écluses- Briare

50KM
Friday: Briare – Rogy-les-sept-Écluses- Briare

Your last bike ride this week will lead you to the castle of ‘Pont Chevron,’ situated on a small, picturesque lake. Around lunchtime you will be in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its historical seven locks. Via the 16th-century castle near Bléneau you will cycle through a region of lakes to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée and eventually back to Briare. A worthy ending of your bike adventure in the heart of France.

Day 8

Saturday: Briare, departure

Saturday: Briare, departure

After breakfast: debarkation before 10 AM.

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
8/22/2020 - 8/29/2020 Available Nevers Clair de Lune Comfort Plus Book now
9/5/2020 - 9/12/2020 Available Nevers Clair de Lune Comfort Plus Book now
9/19/2020 - 9/26/2020 Available Nevers Clair de Lune Comfort Plus Book now
10/3/2020 - 10/10/2020 Available Nevers Clair de Lune Comfort Plus Book now
10/17/2020 - 10/24/2020 Available Nevers Clair de Lune Comfort Plus Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices per room 0 0
Clair de Lune Split level bed cabin on October 17 € 2058,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Split level bed cabin on August 22 & October 3 € 2250,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Split level bed cabin on September 5 & 19 € 2450,- 0 0
0 0
Clair de Lune Double bed cabin on October 17 € 2058,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Double bed cabin on August 22 & October 3 € 2250,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Double bed cabin on September 5 & 19 € 2450,- 0 0
0 0
Clair de Lune Single cabin on October 17 € 1190,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Single cabin on August 22 & October 3 € 1275,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Single cabin on September 5 & 19 € 1430,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Batavus, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €170
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40
Image Name Type Price per week
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Batavus, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €175
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €20
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40

included

  • All nights on board, (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights), cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 45,-
  • Personal insurance/ Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Arrival info

You are expected at the barge on Saturday afternoon, between 12.00 AM and 14.00 PM. You can bring your luggage earlier to the barge, but not
before 11.00 AM. We are busy cleaning the barge, but we can provide you with suggestions to have a nice walk into town.

The mooring place of the barge in Nevers: Embranchement de Nevers, Chemin de Halage

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) By train it is about 3 hours to the railway station in Nevers. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 30 minutes. A taxi from the airport in Paris to the mooring place will take about 3 hours.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the Nevers railway station. Walking distance to the barge is about 30 minutes.

Car

Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage.

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later in Nevers on Saturday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Nevers. The mooring place of the barge in Briare: in the Canal Lateral á la Loire, at the Rue du Pont Canal

Our ship, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury. Free WiFi is (limited and subject to availability of connections) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Your barge has can hold a maximum of 17 passengers and has 9 cabins. 3 with a 2-persons bed, 5 with a split level bed and 1 with a single bed. All cabins have their own private shower, toilet & sink, 220 voltage, central heating and air-conditioning. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing.
The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English/French, some speak German and/or Spanish).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group, new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays).

The most beautiful cycling routes

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 40/45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Bike maps can be purchased when booking and will be handed over to you on board.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may. On most tours this has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please mention this at time of booking. Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transferring from one place to another.

  • Can you choose your own itinerary without a guide?

    Cyclists can choose a longer route than the group takes. The guide will gladly advise you on the choice of an alternative route.

  • Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?

    No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets?

    Must be notified when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
    In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    On our guided tours a tour guide will accompany the group during their cycling route.

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided. We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems. Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you will come across.

More questions

Price starting from € 1029,- * * There are no extra's included in this price

Accommodations

Clair de Lune
Clair de Lune

About  the barge

History Clair de Lune: The Clair de Lune was originally built in 1936 as a freight ship in Belgium.  In 1982 the barge was built into a passenger ship, first named ‘Steile Bank’ and ‘Summerjazz’.
Since May 2014 we named the ship ‘Clair de Lune’. Aboard there is a big and cozy salon with big windows for a perfect view. The barge is 34.15 meters long and 5.05 meters wide, which makes it possible to boat in France with its narrow locks.

Cabin Plan

Below, the "Clair de lune" has  9 Cabins: 3 with a 2-persons bed, 5 with a split level bed and 1 with a single bed. All Cabins have their own shower, toilet & sink and air-conditioning.

  • Offical name Clair de Lune
  • Length 35 m
  • Width 5 m
  • Capacity 17 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Route

 

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